ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** The Broncos went to work on the turf for the first time this offseason, finally putting into motion the changes that have been talked about for months in regards to the defense and offense.
The offense has received its fair share of focus and as a new system takes root, the terminology will take time to adjust for everyone as they learn it.
At the start of this process, this was a bilingual practice of sorts.
"Today, we had no problem as far as functioning and operating," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "For us as coaches, there were two systems going on out there today. I think the players can handle it. It's not a problem. We as coaches have to do a good job of teaching."
Mostly the questions about changing the offense centered around Peyton Manning and how his skills fit into the equation. Kubiak and Manning each have discussed how they see that going, with both agreeing that the offense will adapt to what each side does well.
The Broncos were back on the field for the first time this offseason, working with a new coaching staff.
"What we had to do was basically take the things that they did best and what he does best and is very comfortable with, and then bring in some of the things that we want to be as an offensive football team," Kubiak said. "You find a way to make the two come together. I think [Offensive Coordinator] Rick [Dennison] and the staff has done a really good job of that."
Kubiak already has experience with introducing a new system having implemented changes in Baltimore with the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco, but it was a give-and-take process as Kubiak decided what they could keep from previous years and what they'd have to teach.
"Last year in Baltimore, I walked in and I think Joe had a few coordinators over the course of a few years," Flacco said. "Here I come and I've got my way of talking and doing things. I went back with what they did. I said, 'Let's hang on to this. He knows this, and then we'll start teaching this other part.'"
I suppose it might be important to mention that for all the talk of how the adjustment process is going, the NFL season is still about four months away from now. Manning said at this time, the team is focusing on the fundamentals and basic skills.
"We're just starting," Manning said. "I always enjoy this time as you try to form the kind of the identity of your offense and see what things players do well. [...] We didn't wear helmets today. This was full speed at times and kind of a jog thru at times. We are going through the process. I like being out there. I like working. I like learning. I've always enjoyed that part of it. I'm looking forward to learning Coach Kubiak's philosophies and trying to do my part as a quarterback."
Kubiak was happy to finally see the first day on the field arrive, though it's just the most recent development in a busy time in the offseason.
"It's good to get back to work, so to speak," Kubiak said. "Obviously we've been very busy as coaches preparing for this, and now we're operating and getting ready for the draft this weekend. To actually get out here on the field, for me to see all the guys other than just talking to them, it's been good. We'll have a good couple of days here and then have a good draft this weekend before getting back into Phase 2."